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Father upset recalling night son died

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/03/2015
Shalvin Prasad © TVNZ Shalvin Prasad

AUCKLAND, NZN - The father of a 21-year-old who was allegedly burnt to death over money choked up with emotion as he told a court of waking at midnight to find his son still wasn't home.

Shalvin Prasad spent most of his time working at Pak'nSave, at home with his family, or playing PSP, so when he didn't return home at 10.30pm as he'd promised, his father Ravindra Prasad grew concerned.

He drove around the streets in the early hours of January 31, looking for his son's car and calling his son's cell phone - but got no answer.

Only hours later, Mr Prasad's smouldering body was found by a dog walker in Kingseat on Auckland's southern outskirts.

Bryne Permal, 22, and Shivneel Kumar, 20, are on trial in the High Court at Auckland accused of murdering their friend Mr Prasad on January 30, 2013 by pouring petrol on him and setting him alight so they could take his money.

Mr Prasad was immature, didn't smoke, drank only rarely, told his parents everything and was always home by curfew, his father told the court on Tuesday.

His son had taken out a personal loan so he could lend Kumar $7500 - but Kumar never paid it back.

At one point, Ravindra and Shalvin Prasad went around to Kumar's house to get him to sign a repayment agreement.

"He just said he didn't know anything about the money ... And he just shut the door in our face."

The last time Ravindra Prasad saw his son, they had a brief talk about his curfew before Shalvin hurried out the door, claiming he was going to play pool with his workmates.

Earlier in the day, some of Mr Prasad's family wept when seeing security footage from ASB's Manukau branch showing him withdrawing $30,000 in cash, just hours before his death.

A bank teller from ASB's Manukau branch, Joanne Gavin, told the court on Tuesday that Mr Prasad came into the bank on January 30 and asked for $30,000 in $100 notes as there was a "family emergency".

She said when she asked Mr Prasad questions, he would often do something with his phone before answering.

Nigel Harlen - who was one of the last people to see Mr Prasad before his death - said Mr Prasad never stopped texting when he dropped him off after soccer on January 30, but other than that seemed fine.

"He didn't look nervous or jumpy or anything like that. I thought he was a bit peeved with how we finished up that game," Mr Harlen told Mr Mansfield under cross-examination.

The trial continues.

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